Quick Hits: Villanueva, Looper, Red Sox, Wilson

As the Giants raise their World Series banner with an assist from the Say Hey Kid, here's some news from around the majors…

  • The Brewers received cash, rather than a player to be named later, from the Blue Jays to complete the Carlos Villanueva trade, reports the team (and passed on by MLB.com's Adam McCalvy).
  • The Cubs aren't considering trying to lure Braden Looper out of retirement, reports ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine.  Looper retired when he didn't make Chicago's Opening Day roster.  With right-handers Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells on the disabled list, the Cubs have a sudden lack of pitching depth, but the team will turn to internal options like Casey Coleman, who will start on Sunday. 
  • The Red Sox got their first win of the season today, but there's still plenty of talk about Boston's slow start.  SI's Tom Verducci thinks there are legitimate reasons for worry, namely that Josh Beckett, John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka "have to suddenly reverse the downward trends of their careers in their 30s."
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com also questions Boston's pitching, pointing out that barring rebound years from Beckett, Lackey and Matsuzaka, "they’re essentially the same team as the Yankees — terrific offense, deep bullpen, weak back of the rotation."  Rosenthal, however, thinks it is far too early in the season for the Sox and their fans to panic.
  • Jack Wilson asked to be taken out of the Mariners' 7-3 loss to the Rangers on Wednesday, Seattle manager Eric Wedge told reporters today.  Wilson implied that Wedge had removed him from the game, which upset Wedge, tweets Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.  The Twitter feed of the Brock & Salk radio show on 710 ESPN Seattle reports that Wedge described Wilson's actions as "unspeakable" and wouldn't discuss the veteran infielder's status with the club.
  • Pirates right-hander Tyler Yates has a torn flexor tendon in his throwing elbow, reports Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.  Yates hasn't pitched since 2009 due to Tommy John surgery, and Langosch reports that this latest injury might convince Yates to retire, a decision he's already considered earlier in his career.
  • The Diamondbacks are looking at Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Danny Hultzen with the third pick in this June's amateur draft, says Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.  Sources on other teams think this trio will be the first three players taken in the draft, though perhaps not in that order.  Arizona also has the seventh overall pick, and Piecoro notes that the D-Backs' priority with that pick is to draft a player they can sign.  Vanderbilt's Sonny Grey and high schoolers Dylan Bundy and Taylor Guerrieri are some of the players Piecoro hears connected with this pick.   
  • Doug Davis held another workout today, tweets Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus.  Five or six teams were present, down from the eight clubs that watched Davis throw two weeks ago. 


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21 Comments on "Quick Hits: Villanueva, Looper, Red Sox, Wilson"


Guest
4 years 2 months ago

Are the Red Sox simply missing John Farrell / is this a coaching issue? I don’t know much about Curt Young. Seems like Lackey isn’t even ready for the season, his stuff today was beyond lousy.

Member
Lunchbox45
4 years 2 months ago

These are grown men, professional athletes that get paid millions of dollars. . . They shouldn’t rely on another person to get them ready for the season

Guest
4 years 2 months ago

Yeah no kidding. Wasn’t so much implying that it was a matter of being out of shape or something, he came in 30ish pounds lighter and that was his own preparation. Players, even veterans like Lackey and Beckett count on coaches to point out things they’re doing wrong, etc. Not a matter of reliance but pitching coaches exist for a reason… I’m not even saying I’m convinced Young has anything to do with his poor start, just asking if anyone’s heard anything on that front.

Member
sherrilltradedooverexperience
4 years 2 months ago

Guess Jack is having a temporary memory lapse on what a great life he has getting to play the game of baseball on a full time basis.

Member
Ian_Smell
4 years 2 months ago

You’re always welcome back in Pittsburgh if Seattle doesn’t pan out, Jack. Just as long as you’re not being paid too much.

Member
grownice
4 years 2 months ago

I heard your making a comeback bro! Congrats! Best of luck to ya!

Member
MaineSox
4 years 2 months ago

“have to suddenly reverse the downward trends of their careers in their 30s.” What “trends” is this guy talking about? Both Beckett and Lackey were essentially the same pitcher in ’09 that they were in ’07, so that leaves ’10. Beckett was bad (and injured) in ’10 and Lackey, after a horrible start, was as good or better in ’10 than he was in ’07-’09. Even if we assume they were both horrible all year last year it’s still only one year, so it’s way to early to claim that it is any sort of downward trend.

Dice-K, well he is what he is, but he pitched basically as well last year as he did in ’08, he just had a much different outcome, so there’s no “downward trend” there either.

Member
guest_54
4 years 2 months ago

While slight (perhaps insubstantial), Lackey’s numbers have shown a bit of downward trend over the past 3 years.

ERA+
2007 – 150
2008 – 119
2009 – 115
2010 – 99

WHIP
2007 – 1.210
2008 – 1.231
2009 – 1.270
2010 – 1.419

H/9
2007 – 8.8
2008 – 8.9
2009 – 9.0
2010 – 9.8

BB/9
2007 – 2.1
2008 – 2.2
2009 – 2.4
2010 – 3.0

K/9
2007 – 7.2
2008 – 7.2
2009 – 7.1
2010 – 6.5

SO/BB
2007 – 3.44
2008 – 3.25
2009 – 2.96
2010 – 2.17

As I mentioned, these are only slight regressions, but it definitely gives some merit to the claim that he is showing signs of a downward trend. Do I think the Red Sox should be concerned? Not really, but to totally rip into the writer for suggesting that his numbers are trending in the wrong direction is not completely fair as there is at least some evidence to suggest that conclusion.

Member
grownice
4 years 2 months ago

Well played Mauer, i mean guest_54.

Member
RedSoxDynasty
4 years 2 months ago

U mean Notjoemauer!

Member
MaineSox
4 years 2 months ago

I don’t think I ripped into the writer, and I certainly didn’t intend to. I merely suggested that it is too early to call it a trend. I look at the numbers you posted and still see Lackey as essentially the same player from ’07-’09, esspecially when you add in his xFIPs of 3.87, 3.82 and 3.87 again, so that still leaves ’10 as the outlier and one year shouldn’t be considered a trend. All of that is also ignoring the face that his numbers were all inflated from a terrible start last year, and from June onward he actually pitched better than he had in ’07.

Member
guest_54
4 years 2 months ago

Fair enough. I re-read what you wrote and perhaps it seemed a little harsher to me the first time. I actually agree that Lackey’s numbers are pretty close. My point was that a cursory glance at some of his stats could lead people to argue that he has started a downward trend.

Member
RedSoxDynasty
4 years 2 months ago

Any true Honest Sox fan would have to be worried by what they see with their own eyes. Beckett should be fine as a solid no.3 without anymore ace expectations but Lackey and Dice K look horrible. Talk about a waste of money.

Member
MaineSox
4 years 2 months ago

“Any true honest Sox fan” would know that from ’07 to ’09 Beckett was the fifth most valuable starter in all of baseball, had the second lowest xFIP of all starters in that time, as well as third best K/BB. Now he has one bad year (in which he was injured for a major part of the year) and you are ready to proclaim him a “solid no.3?” And by most accounts Lackey had a “bad” year last year and still justified his pay. Note also that Lackey’s bad year was “bad” to the tune of 4.0 WAR, which is only 0.3 WAR less than David Price.

Member
RedSoxDynasty
4 years 2 months ago

Theres the difference between a fan and a homer!

Member
Notin J. Notin
4 years 2 months ago

The Cuba lack pitching depth? The Sox are saddled with John Lackey? A coincidence these two points were put together back-to-back in the same article?

Sadly for Sox fans – it very likely is a coincidence…